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Mahlon Reyes, a deckhand on the Discovery Channel’s reality show “Deadliest Catch,” has died of a heart attack at 38.
Friends and family paid tribute on a memorial Facebook page that said the popular reality show cast member, who worked on two Bering Sea crab fishing boats, died July 27 — a day after he was rushed to North Valley Montana Hospital in his hometown of Whitefish, Montana.
“On Sunday night our family together made the hardest choice we’ve ever made and that was to remove him from life support. Mahlon’s body was tired and had put up an amazing fight. He was the strongest guy we knew,” the post read. “He was surrounded by so much love.”
Reyes’ wife, Heather Sullivan, told USA TODAY over email her family is recalling fond memories of Reyes to make the “impossible situation bearable.”
“We laugh and remember all the funny stories and have been surrounded by an amazing group of our best friends and family,” Sullivan wrote. “I am in awe of the people that he touched just by his positive attitude and smile.”
“He was my rock and I was his,” Sullivan wrote.
“Deadliest Catch” deck boss Nick McGlashan paid respects on Twitter with a photo of Reyes on deck.
“This place misses you,” McGlashan wrote. “RIP Mahlon.”
Sullivan said that Reyes was cremated and his best friends will spread his ashes in the Bering Sea and in Montana’s Swan Range mountains “where he and his brother would snowcat. These are two of his favorite places.”
Reyes (center) with his extended family (L-R) Aspen 21, Harloe 11, Maycie, 9, Teja, 15, Jayden, 18 and partner Heather Sullivan. (Photo: Maylon Reyes)
The Discovery Channel issued a statement about Reyes saying, “So sad, he was so young. Our thoughts and prayers to his family.”
Reyes appeared on 14 “Deadliest Catch” episodes since while working on two crabbing boats – the Seabrooke and Cape Caution.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Reyes family following the unexpected death. “It’s been such a tragedy and anything would help even if it’s a simple share or a prayer,” the page, which had raised more than $13,000 as of Sunday night, states.
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